Businesses from across the building and DIY industry are coming together to back a charity runner in this year's Virgin Money London Marathon.
Mike Pollard, 62, national sales manager at ForgeFix, will take part in the 2017 event on Sunday, April 23, to raise funds for Alzheimer's Society. Mr Pollard is aiming to complete the 26 miles and 385 yard course in fancy dress costume wearing a giant forget-me-not flower.
This flower has long been associated with dementia and treasured memories. It also forms an integral part of Alzheimer's Society's logo.
Each of the petals on Mr Pollard's costume has been sponsored by a different business or brand. These sponsors include Toolbank, DEWALT, Wera, Broadfix, Roughneck and BIZ Power Tools.
Additional sponsors include Andyfreight (whose haulage, warehousing and distribution services are widely used by the building and DIY industry), specialist insurance brokers, P B Curran, and OGL Computer - a leading provider of IT solutions to businesses in the trade sector. Naturally, ForgeFix is also sponsoring Mr Pollard.
Running the London Marathon is just the latest challenge tackled by Mike as he continues to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society and awareness of the Society's important work. In late 2016, he completed a sponsored coast-to-coast bike ride for the charity, riding 140 miles from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth in Tyne and Wear.
Mr Pollard's motivation comes from his own firsthand experiences of the effects of dementia. His long-term partner Julie was diagnosed with young onset dementia five years ago at 55. She can no longer drive, read or write, and requires 24-hour care.
Young onset dementia affects 42,000 people aged under 65 across the UK and accounts for around 5% of all the nation's 850,000 dementia cases. The total number of people affected by dementia continues to increase and is expected to rise to one million by 2021.
Speaking of his pending marathon, Mr Pollard said: "There's no doubt that running the London Marathon will be one of the toughest physical and mental challenges I have ever faced but the effort and commitment will be worth it.
"The support provided by Alzheimer's Society has been invaluable for Julie and I know my sponsorship money will be used to help other sufferers and their families."
Mr Pollard is keen to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer's Society and is continuing to seek additional donations and sponsorship.
Individuals and organisations looking to back his marathon efforts can do so by visiting his JustGiving page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mike-Pollard4